Now in its 20th year, and thanks to the dedication of a strong group of volunteers, the Junior Golf Association has been providing a worthwhile golf program to local young people – teaching them not only the rules and etiquette of golf, but also providing them with opportunities to develop social, physical, emotional, and mental skills to carry them through their lifetimes.
Originally founded by Village resident Bill Veal, the program is open to young people from 8 years of age through high school. Thanks to the availability of scholarships, no Junior is ever turned away due to family financial hardship. To date, 42 scholarships have been awarded. The program runs June-July and averages 290 Juniors each year. Living in the Village is not a requirement for participation.
The young golfers can purchase a set of starter golf clubs w/bag for $30. When they outgrow the clubs, they can be traded in for a different set of clubs at no additional charge. In addition, they have free access to one of the golf ranges and can play any of the Village courses for the whole year after 2 p.m. for $4.26.
The goal of the volunteers each year is not only to teach the rules and etiquette of golf, but also provide real life lessons to influence the character development and good sportsmanship of each Junior. Gary Sikes, volunteer coordinator, observed, “Over the years, the dedicated Junior Golf volunteers have gotten so much satisfaction from watching the Juniors in the program develop not only golf skills, but social and mental skills too. It makes us feel good to know we’re making a difference in young lives.”